April Town Hall: Campus priorities, budget update and more

In the second Town Hall of the spring semester, Chancellor Jennifer Sobanet and campus leaders shared updates on the strategic plan, budget and other campus happenings.

Strategic Plan

  • The Chancellor likened the strategic plan to climbing a mountain – “Just as we will encounter beautiful meadows and streams, we will also face difficult terrain. But we must always keep our eyes on the summit.”

  • We are in the process of honing our campus priorities from within the Strategic Plan to focus our efforts. The Campus Priorities conversations have resulted in generative discussions.

Budget Update

  • The campus budget is one of the “difficult terrains” our community must navigate to arrive at the summit. Our Provost and VCAF have been deeply involved in determining the steps we need to take to balance the FY 2024-25 budget and our approach to our ongoing activities funded with one-time funds. 

  • As a reminder, this process relies on three principles: transparency, strategic alignment and a focus on the future. One way in which these principles can be seen in action is the decision on next year’s compensation pool, which prioritizes merit salary increases for faculty and staff who make less than $85,000, as well as our lecturers, hourly and student hourly employees. Merit increases for those making above $85,000 are now aligned with a specific enrollment revenue goal. 

Other Campus Updates  


  • Research is at the heart of our academic mission. The Chancellor reiterated that we are proud of our R2 classification. “It elevates our status regionally, state-wide, nationally, and internationally and I believe it’s one of our most important differentiators in a very crowded higher education market,” she said. “In a time of budget cuts, it remains a priority as a pillar of our institution.”

Feb. 16 Incident Update

  • The Chancellor closed her comments with a moment to acknowledge the heartache the campus has suffered this semester in the loss of Mia, Sam and Celie. “We have begun to heal and move forward, bolstered by the unwavering support and encouragement we’ve received from so many in our community, and particularly in our university family,” she said. “We understand that the road we are on is a long one.”

  • The individual accused of these serious crimes is likely to be in the judicial process for a significant period of time. As our community moves through that process, the Feb. 16 incident will continue to resurface in the media and in the lived experience of so many from our campus. 

During the Q&A session, campus leaders shared information about the retirement incentive program, the budget, academic affairs and other topics.

In her closing remarks, Chancellor Sobanet expressed her gratitude to attendees for their contributions to the success of students and the campus. “As I close this Town Hall, I want to thank you ALL for all that you do to contribute to the success of our students,” she concluded.

Listen to the full session online.